Queensland champion feels Olympian’s anguish
TRACK CYCLING: Newly-crowned state champion Byron Davies understands perfectly what elite athletes are currently experiencing.
After dominating last month's state titles at Brisbane's Anna Meares Velodrome, the speed demon had been approaching the Australian Championships confident of securing a maiden title.
As it has done all around the world, however, coronavirus robbed him of that chance.
With doubts nationals will go ahead at all this year, Davies can relate with those who have trained so hard for four years, only to have their Olympic dreams delayed.
"The way I look at it it would be four times as bad as having nationals cancelled," he said.
"It's disappointing. You are trying to peak for one event and you train hard for four or five months, only to be told it is not on.
"I can understand it would be devastating."
At the state track championships, the Rosewood rocket outpaced rivals to bring home individual gold in the sprint, kilo and keirin, bronze in the 15km scratch race. He added a silver medal alongside Ipswich clubmates Haddon Kilmartin and John Eder in the team sprints.
Kilmartin also collected bronze in the individual pursuit in what was an outstanding result for the improving racer.
"I'm pretty happy with how it all went," Davies said.
"There is heaps more I can work on.
"It was pretty exciting representing Ipswich and for a club team to do well.
"There were some top riders and a masters world champion in the other teams, so we were very happy to get silver."
With its steep bank the Chandler venue is regarded as the fastest circuit in the country.
Davies, who has been on a rapid incline of his own since converting from the road to the velodrome last year, made the most of the additional speed.
Afer fractionally missing the Queensland record in the sprint, he scorched the track in his pet 'kilo' or 1000m time trial to break the state all-time mark he set at the Oceania Championships in Invercargill in October. That's where he finished a second behind the highest-ranked Aussie in his first ever time entering the challenging event.
The scintillating time of 1.02.342 shaved 0.726 off the previous record. It also moved him closer to the Victorian competitor who set the pace in New Zealand.
Davies' state championship ride was faster than the southerner produced at the corresponding Victorian titles.
Aware he is within striking distance, the 20-year-old had been looking forward to the national titles which were to be held in Brisbane in late March.
However, with coronavirus forcing their postponement he will aim further ahead.
Davies has earned selection to the Cycling Australia Development Squad which aims to prepare athletes to have shown potential for the 2024 Olympics.
As part of the elite group of emerging young riders Davies will attend camps run by the country's most respected coaches.